As I mentioned in my last post, trust is a hot commodity. It’s essential to instill trust with your readers if you want to get good business results from your blogging, social networking and internet marketing. So how do you instill trust?
The methods we use to market products and services these days are changing rapidly, and if you’re reading this blog you’re obviously aware of these changes and are taking steps to learn. Kudos. But it’s important…absolutely essential…to understand one simple fact.
The way people buy things is changing, but the REASONS people buy things haven’t changed at all.
In other words, people may be searching for information differently, they may be hyper-connected and using new resources to find out what they want to know, but deep down they still need the same things. People want to avoid pain and increase pleasure. They have the same hot buttons: greed, envy, love, etc. And they also need to trust you if they want to buy from you.
Here are things you can do to instill trust:
- Create quality content, specifically written for your target audience.
- Respond to your comments. Be thoughtful.
- Respond to your email. Take time to be helpful.
- Be everywhere. The more your audience sees you “out there”, the more your credibility increases.
- Offer a guarantee for everything you sell. Take all risk upon yourself, leave only value for your customers.
- Honor your guarantee. It should be just as easy to get a refund as it is to place an order.
- Don’t spam people.
- Leave thoughtful comments on other blogs. Use comments on other blogs as a conversational tool, not a promotional tool. People know comment spam when they see it. If you think real customers are going to click through your comment spam on other blogs and buying things from you, you’re deluding yourself!
- Be honest.
- Be consistent.
- Make your products and services targeted. In other words, don’t just produce what you want. Confirm there is a need first. Targeted product creation instills trust, because it speaks directly to your customer. They will really feel like you really know them.
- Don’t post blind, stupid links on Twitter or in your social networking status. Would YOU click on a link that says “hey check this out! crappyaffiliatelink.tinyurl.com”? I’m not against affiliate marketing of course. Not at all. I’m just saying, blindly blasting out affiliate links, hoping some of them will stick is NOT the way to build trust.
- Before you post anything, anywhere, ask yourself “Is my goal to create value for my customers, or am I just trying to sell something?”
- Be around for a while. There’s really no getting around this. The longer you are around, the more credibility you’ll build and the more your reputation will proceed you. This is a key element of trust, and it takes time.
- Make your site easy to navigate.
- Be an active member of other forums or a guest author on other properties that are valued and trusted by your target audience. This is another element of “being everywhere”, from #4.
- Avoid overzealous claims in your sales copy, even if they’re true.
- Don’t ignore complaints, and don’t be rude…seriously, someone who has taken the time to complain or leave a stupid, hateful comment on your blog is EXACTLY who you want to interact with. They care enough to let you know…99% of the time, it’s a simple issue you can resolve immediately with very little effort, and when you do this, you come off like a hero. If you choose to attack back, you will be justified in doing so, and you will also lose at least one customer forever. You can choose between using such an event as an opportunity to grow trust in your brand, or you can choose to come off looking like a jerk. Your choice!
- Testimonials. This is a classic. It works, and it will ALWAYS work. Show people proof that your product or service has produced favorable results for others. Produce a system for getting testimonials from your buyers today!
- Be good. This one might sound like a cop out, but I think it might be the most important one of all. Being good requires constant hard work, networking, staying on top of things and really putting your honest, full effort into your business…every day. These are all things the “gurus” claim they can teach you to skip. Learn all you can from the gurus, but then go out and bust your ass implementing what you’ve learned. Don’t skip the hard stuff, because doing what your competition is not willing to do…that’s exactly what will turn the tables in your favor. Can you make money online by doing very little? Yes, you can make chump change that way. Of course, if you’re in it for chump change, you’re reading the wrong blog 🙂
Of course, I don’t consider this to be a masterfully comprehensive list, but it’s a few things I consider to be absolutely crucial for instilling trust with your buyers.
Do you have any to add? Let me know what you think!